Life and Death in Ujung Kulon National Park – Javan Rhino News

On the morning of Monday, 23 April, a ranger team from Ujung Kulon National Park discovered the carcass of a male Javan rhino. With only 67 individuals left on the planet, the death of every individual is a tragic event for this critically endangered species.

Photo courtesy of Ujung Kulon National Park

After the discovery was made, the team’s first priority was to check the status of the animal’s horn. To their relief, the horn was still there – indicating that this animal had most likely died of natural causes and not from poaching. The rangers then immediately contacted National Park authorities, who quickly assembled a team of on-the-ground partners, comprised mainly of representatives from the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (Yayasan Badak Indonesia, or YABI), whose Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) patrol that portion of the park, and WWF-Indonesia, whose veterinarian would perform the necropsy.

This particular rhino was well known to the RPUs who patrol the area and was even nicknamed “Sampson”. It is estimated that he was over thirty years old, which is considered old for this species.

While Sampson’s death is a hard blow for the conservation community, we do take heart that losing a rhino at such an advanced age shows the health of the Javan ecosystem habitat in which he lived and also how effective Ujung Kulon National Park management and the RPUs are in protecting the wildlife that live there.

Despite this loss, there is also renewed cause for hope. Farther inland on the Javan peninsula, camera trap footage has revealed the birth of two new Javan rhino calves. Estimated to have been born in early February the images reveal each of the calves following closely behind their mothers in the dense tropical forest.


Photo courtesy of Ujung Kulon National Park

The International Rhino Foundation wishes to share our condolences to the Ujung Kulon National Park staff for the loss of this animal, and to express our deep appreciation for the work that they and all the on-the-ground partners to do protected this species. IRF remains committed to ensure that through protection and habitat management, the Javan rhino population will continue to grow, and that Sampson’s offspring will be a testament to those efforts.


2 thoughts on “Life and Death in Ujung Kulon National Park – Javan Rhino News

  1. NO! At first I thought the people standing buy the rhino had killed it poor rhinos I was searching most endangered animal when I found the Javan rhino I couldn’t BELIVE there was only 60 left I was searching it because I wanna be a animal rescuer when I grow up along with being a firefighter! I am going to be the first girl firefighter in my family! I am going to carry on the generation my dad is one and his dad and his dad and his dad and his dad and his dad it’s a big generation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *